New Delhi, November 10: The Supreme Court on Friday considered the allegations of bribes being taken in the name of judges as very serious. In today’s hearing the apex court witnessed high drama as Advocate Prashant Bhushan stormed out of the Court of the Chief Justice of India after expressing his displeasure at the refusal of the Bench to hear him.
The hearing before the Constitution Bench then witnessed high voltage arguments as Supreme Court Bar Association President RS Suri, Secretary Gaurav Bhatia and a slew of advocates assembled in the Court to oppose the conduct of the petitioner’s lawyers.
Secretary Gaurav Bhatia argued that some senior lawyers were indulging in browbeating of judges and if contempt action can be initiated against junior lawyers or AoRs, it should apply equally to Senior counsel.
Lawyers seated in the Court were also allowed to voice their concerns against the petitioners; many of them called for action to be taken against the petitioner’s counsel.
After the lawyers finished speaking, Prashant Bhushan tried to make his arguments.
Even as he was trying to make his submissions, the Bench kept quizzing him. Bhushan said that even those who were not parties to the matter were heard by the Bench, but he was not being allowed to speak.
The Bench was, however, unrelenting. This prompted Bhushan to raise his voice and say, “Your Lordships can pass an order without hearing me.
You have heard persons who are not parties to the case for an hour. If Your Lordships want to pass an order without hearing me, then do it.”
He then stormed out of the Court, with the marshalls escorting him.
"Extraordinary proceedings in SC today in the case seeking SIT Investigation in medical college bribery case involving the CJI! CJI presided over a hand-picked bench to override yesterday's order referring this case to top 5 judges. This despite having a direct conflict of interest," Bhushan had earlier tweeted.
"There must be an independent but credible & thorough investigation in this case of alleged Corruption at the top of the judiciary. Guilty must be held to account. Any attempt to cover it up will only undermine public confidence in judiciary," Bhushan said.
"The court proceedings were extraordinary in that the CJI was asking all kinds of lawyers who were not parties to say things against the order of Court 2, w/o hearing petitioner. He tried to justify his role in the medical college case & speak against 'impropriety' of Court 2," he said in another tweet.
The conflict is over a plea by the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms that has sought the setting up of a SIT to probe the role of Orissa High Court judge Ishrat Masroor Quddusi in enabling private medical colleges to admit students to MBBS courses despite the Supreme Court barring the institutes from doing so.
Quddusi, who had also served as a judge in Chhattisgarh High Court, was arrested along with Lucknow-based Prasad Institute of Medical Sciences’ chairman B P Yadav, his son Palash Yadav and three others, for allegedly trying to settle a matter relating to a medical college barred from admitting new students.